The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Art Group to Give UNC A Taste of N.Y. Flavor

The performance art group Jump Arts will showcase jazz music, poetry, modern dance and painting May 1.

But with the New York-based arts group Jump Arts coming May 1 to Hill Auditorium as part of the first Jump Arts American Road Project, local residents might not have to travel north to experience Manhattan's arts scene.

A nonprofit organization, Jump Arts works to promote awareness about emerging artists in New York's downtown arts community.

"It's about giving artists a chance to widen their audience," said Tom Abbs, Jump Arts' founder.

Abbs, who has been involved in New York's arts community for more than five years, said the American Road Project is an opportunity for people to experience New York's unique style. "Here in lower Manhattan, the music is really free jazz, avant-garde," Abbs said. "It's about freedom and love."

A four-hour long concert, Wednesday's performance will feature jazz bands like The Transcendentalists. But music won't be the only art form audiences are exposed to. Abbs said the concert, which is being sponsored by the Carolina Union Activities Board, will also include modern dance, poetry and live painting.

The reed player for The Gold Sparkle Band, Charles Waters said he is excited to be coming to Chapel Hill with the American Road Project.

"The students (in Chapel Hill) are smart and interested in new music," Waters said. "It's a diverse campus, and one of our main tenets is to preserve a diverse style."

Waters said that after Sept. 11, audiences will be refreshed to see the diverse group of artists being featured on the tour. "We have African-Americans touring, white dudes, Asians." Waters said. "To put that on the road after Sept. 11 is a big triumph. It's a celebration of life."

Abbs said that after everything that has happened in New York City, the tour is a chance for artists to share how they've been coping. "Writing, music and playing is the only way we've been able to deal with what happened," Abbs said.

Yet Abbs said the ultimate goal of the tour is to simply give artists an outlet for expressing themselves that will hopefully touch audiences.

"All artists have something to say," Abbs said. "We all have an opinion and we want to tell it to people and get different reactions so we can expand our horizons and hopefully expand yours."

For more information on the Jump Arts American Road Project, contact CUAB at 962-1157.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk.unc.edu.

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